Alaa Abdel-Fattah defence asks for Amr Moussa and Khaled Youssef as witnesses

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Dec 2014

Abdel-Fattah and 24 other activists are being retried for allegedly breaking the protest law, attacking police outsude Shura Council in November 2013

Khaled Ali
Human rights lawyer and activist Khaled Ali during the retrial of political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others in Cairo Criminal Court, Egypt, December 4, 2014 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The retrial of political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others has been adjourned to 11 December.

Cairo Criminal Court on Thursday heard prosecution witnesses, including police personnel.

The defendants were originally sentenced to 15 years in prison in June for violating in November 2013 a protest law that bans demonstrations without a prior permit.

They are also accused of assaulting a policeman and stealing his radio, inciting riots, blocking traffic and vandalising public property.

Major General Hani Gerges, the former chief of Qasr El-Nil police station, said he saw the protesters throwing stones at police during the demonstration. However, other police witnesses said they could not recall exact details of protesters who allegedly attacked them.

Meanwhile the defence, led by human rights lawyer and activist Khaled Ali, asked the judge to call more witnesses, including the head of the 50-person committee that wrote Egypt's 2014 constitution Amr Moussa and committee members: Lawyers' Syndicate head Sameh Ashour and film director Khaled Youssef.

The unpermitted demonstration, which took place outside the Shura Council, had aimed at pressuring the committee writing the constitution at the time to ban military trials for civilians.

Several activists detained in Egyptian prisons are on hunger strike, including Abdel-Fattah, against lengthy preventative detentions and the protest law, among other demands. 

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